Like millions of people, and after proclaiming my hatred for all reality shows, I could not help watch Britains Got Talent and getting carried away by some great performances. Whilst Stavros Flatley had me crying with laughter at their innocent high jinks, and young Aiden had me proclaiming the next great star, I thought it was apt, and more than justified, that the brilliant Diversity won.
Apt because of the name. Apt, because in these times everyone is looking for diversity. For many in business, certainly in the mortgage broking arena, diversification is key. And it got me thinking, like many others, why the hell did we all not do this sooner?
Many brokers were the same. Concentrating just on the mortgage and banging it away quickly so they could turn to the next mortgage deal on their desk and enjoy the ever increasing procuration fees on offer. To be honest, in doing this many brokers did their clients a dis-service.
They let them get their own life cover and mortgage protection through the lenders, which in all likelihood would not have been the cheapest, nor maybe even the most suitable. Many people are still walking around without proper cover. How many clients have their life insurances properly written in trust? It takes no extra time or cost to do this.
With alarming rises in the numbers of people who need health protection policies, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
So, it’s all very well everyone saying that they are now diversifying and selling these products, but actually it is more about doing the job properly in the first place. It is about continuing to professionalise our industry so consumers feel even more confident in our advice.
It is not easy to become a Financial Advisor any more. It involves professional qualifications, years of study and annual assessment. For many, like us, it involves monthly assessments and compliance looking over our cases to check the quality of advice. The majority of us work hard to achieve a level of professionalism, so why let clients then go direct to a bank where, on average and in my opinion, the level of experience is much lower and they can only sell their own products.
I admit I have never understood why people, when faced with the biggest debt they are ever likely to have, would not willingly pay a small fee to get professional advice. They pay lawyers, accountants and similar professionals vast amounts for their advice. Estate Agents are paid a percentage of the transaction costs without blinking.
Yet, many in the media lambast brokers for daring to charge a professional fee for proper advise that I bet many wish they had taken at the moment. It could literally save people thousands of pounds.
Again, we have ourselves to blame. In the scramble for volumes and enjoying the proc fees on offer, we could argue we gave up our professionalism. Well, no one can afford to do that any more, and we owe it to our clients to provide a full advice service, just like we always used to.
If you are going to diversify, do it properly. We are offering PR services and property finding services. Diversification is not just doing the job properly. Rumours of a Coreco Street Dance Group, however, have no basis, or do they?